Category Archives: Video

Life on the Allotment

While we do get our fair share of human visitors, it’s the non-human visitors I get really excited about. Whenever I’m there enjoying some peace and quiet on my own, I’m never really alone.

I often lose time watching the bees, following the beetles scuttling across the beds or trying to identify all the different birds I see. Even yesterday, I had to pause with the watering to scoop out a frog that had gotten trapped in the water cistern. As it hopped off into the tall grass, I realised I should have re-homed it under the comfrey patch, where there’s millions of slugs hiding.

Speaking of slugs, fifteen minutes of hand picking though the ornamental beds yielded nearly a half bucket of slugs…yum. Also, I never realised how much noise is emitted from a bucket of slugs. Lots of popping, slopping and the occasional plop.

Bucket O’Slugs

So far my favourite visitor has been our own Allotment Fox. Obviously very young, a year at most, it was often spotted trotting though the plots, following along as I pushed my wheelbarrow up to the  green waste bins. Recently, I was working away when I saw it standing only a few meters away from me. I then noticed that most of its tail was missing and it looked like it was a very recent injury. I could tell it was in pain and worried that it had/could become severely infected. Yesterday, I found out the RSPCA had managed to trap it and I hope it got some basic veterinary care before being released. I was sorry to hear they had been asked to relocate it, I do miss the foxy company, even if it did pee on my fleece tunnels…

Allotment Fox

There are things other than slugs and foxes of course, even rumours of badgers, but in the meantime here’s a sampling of all the life that can be found on the allotment.

(Another fantastic video from Scott)

Ladybird Lovin’

Just a quick post today, been very busy recently and this weekend is no exception. It was the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday and company BBQ today (food all being done by yours truly). Then Scott is doing the London to Brighton Night Ride for the British Heart Foundation. Along with my gardening van, I’m part of the team’s support crew, which basically means driving down to Brighton in the very early morning to collect bikes and sleepy riders.

The weather has been El Scorchio this last week, so I’ve been popping by the plot most days just to try and keep up with the watering. Tomatoes are ready to go out, but I think they’re going to have to wait a few more days…

The future looks aphid free for them though, as I have been seeing an incredible number of ladybird beetles on the plot (aka Ladybugs if you’re North American like me). As I’ve been weeding, I’ve been carefully moving them out of the way. Unlike me, the hot weather isn’t slowing them down at all and they’ve been very frisky. When I see lots of ladybird nymphs soon, I’ll be a very proud auntie.

(Another fantastic video by Scott)

The Finest Shed You Ever Did See

One benefit of working for a gardening company is that I have a steady supply of knackered tools. Bent forks, mangled spades and semi-toothless rakes are always available. Instead of throwing them out, I collect them knowing they can be put to good use on the allotment. Even that broom that’s shed all its bristles, I’ll save it for when we build our fire pit. I have a bit of a premonition this hoarding tendency may be my undoing…

Of course we needed to put up a shed to store all these “treasures.” I ordered a 3’x 6′ shed from Sheds World, which arrived in Ikea-like flat pack form, with a shockingly large bag of hardware. Scott, Simon and myself gathered together on a foggy Saturday morning in November to commence the Great Shed Build. There was some initial trouble, as we kept breaking drill bits trying to make pilot holes for the screws. Eventually brute force won out and we stopped bothering with pilot holes altogether. I know it’s a carpentry no-no if you want to avoid splitting the wood, but we were snapping bits at an alarming rate. We eventually managed to put it together without killing each other or smashing the shed into kindling.

The next morning, Scott and I started painting it. We splurged on the paint, going for The Cuprinol Garden Shades range. We could have gone for the ultra cheap house brand shed paint, but we wanted more colour choice than light brown, dark brown and green. In typical style, I went for the brightest colour they had, bright blue (Barleywood)…with a little pot of Country Cream for the trim.

I have to say, the final result is rather natty, it certainly makes the plot easy to find. In a sea of brown and green sheds, the bright blue clearly stands out. We got several nice compliments from neighbouring plot holders, although I did sense a bit of bemusement behind some of them. Maybe that was just me. I showed a photo of the shed to a co-worker and she declared it made the plot look “like it’s on Santorini or something.”

Maybe in the summer I’ll paint a design on it or something, or would that be too much?

Nah.

Video made by my wonderfully talented partner, Scott.